At large, India is a region that is famous across the world for its delectable street food and other major cuisines. The eastern Indian state of Odisha is also one region that has amazed foodies across the country when it comes to its mouthwatering dishes. Odisha is a land of rich cultural heritage and delectable cuisine and is also home to a vibrant array of refreshing and unique beverages. However, the state, known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples, is also home to many popular drinks and beverages that are locally made. Amidst the scorching summers across India, these delicious drinks really do sell like hotcakes. Here are some of them you should definitely try out. (Also read: Taste of Odisha: 4 delicious easy to make summer Odia recipes you must try )
Must-try beverages and drinks in Odisha
Abinas Nayak, Masterchef Winner and Corporate Chef shared with HT Lifestyle, some popular drinks and beverages in Odisha that are an absolute must-try.
1. Tanka Torani
Tanka Torani is one of the most iconic Odisha rice-based drinks which are refreshing to the core. Originating from the holy land of Jagannath Puri in Odisha, Tanka Torina is claimed to have been prepared for the first time around the 10th Century AD. The staple drink is usually served in earthen pots inside and outside the temple in small stalls in order to quench the thirst of the devotees standing in long queues. The preparation for Tanka Torani involves plain rice, which is first fermented in water before being mashed alongside curd (Dahi). It can then be mixed with curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, and you can add lemon slices, lemon leaves, and roasted cumin powder, and salt before serving it.
2. Chenna Panna
The drink is known to be specially prepared to mark the Odia New Year and is claimed to have been very dear to Lord Jagannath. The popular summer drink is made with the help of yoghurt, black pepper, milk, and fruits, and sweetened with rock sugar, with fresh Chenna or cottage cheese being its chief ingredient. Its preparation involves mashing cottage cheese with bananas and milk before being added with cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, black pepper, and ginger.
3. Bela Panna
Now, this one particular drink is perfect for the summer as it has both medicinal and cooling properties. The main ingredient of this Bela Panna is ‘Bela’, which actually stands for wooden apple. Like other drinks on the list, Bela Panna is also a traditional drink that is also offered to Lord Jagannath as prasad. The preparation of the drink involves mixing Bela with grated coconut, chenna (cottage cheese), and black pepper, and it is an incredible alternative to cure dyspepsia, gastritis, and hyperacidity.
4. Mandia Pej
Mandia Pej is one of Odisha’s most famous summer drinks that has traditionally been used by tribal communities in the region to keep themselves cool. Made out of Ragi powder and stale water from boiled rice, Mandia Pej is one drink that helps your body keep cool in the summer while also keeping your gut healthy. The morning breakfast drink is also spiced with fresh chopped green chillies and topped with chopped coriander.
5. Palua Pana
Palua Pana is one famous summer drink from Odisha which is made out of Palua (Arrowroot powder), mashed banana, shredded coconut, chena, Mishri or crystallized sugar, and pepper powder. The super refreshing drink, which is a type of pana offered to Lord Jagannath at Puri, is also topped with bananas or grated coconut. Similar to the other summer drinks of Odisha, Palua Pana also helps with an upset stomach.
6. Adhara Pana
Another special mention should also be given to Adhara Pana, which is a famous spiced drink from the region. It is said that it was offered to the Trinity of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra on the return from the Ratha Yatra. The delicious summer drink, made out of milk and jaggery, is referred to as the Lord’s favourite drink. It was reported to be served to the deities in earthen pots that were big enough to reach their lips.
The drink’s name comes from ‘Adhara’ meaning ‘lips’ and ‘Pana’ which translates to ‘cold drinks’. Adhara Pana is known to have a lot of healthy spices like ginger, nutmeg, edible camphor, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and also fruits like apples, grapes, grated coconut, bananas, ripe mangos, and oranges in it.
7. Rabdi Lassi
Lassis are one of the most popular traditional drinks coming out of India. Made out of yogurt with a smoothie-like consistency, Lassis are relished across the country to beat the heat during summers. Now, the Odia Rabdi Lassi is one such variant of the traditional lassi that is a big hit with foodies. It is a regional summer delicacy that is topped with grated coconut, cashew nuts, sweetened condensed milk (Rabdi), and cherries. The exotic lassi is actually prepared using yogurt/curd, which is then blended smoothly with sugar or jaggery, ice cubes, and water as desired. In several parts of Odisha, the Rabdi Lassi is also layered with Vanilla ice cream, served with dry fruits, and even Bournvita.